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Vehicle Registration

Hawaii has several requirements for motor vehicle registration, some of which may be new to you. The following information is designed to make the registration process easier for you.

For military members who are not legal residents of the State of Hawaii:

All automobiles used on the highway must be registered with the state within 10 days of arrival. If you are not a legal resident of Hawaii, you may keep your original vehicle license plates, but you must register your car to get a Hawaii vehicle permit sticker. When your original plat expires, you may elect to renew them or obtain Hawaii plates. Regardless of your decision, you must still register your vehicle within 10 days of arrival.

NOTE: The "10 day" rule applies only to vehicles with valid and current registration and license plates. Otherwise, the vehicle must be registered immediately.

If you desire Hawaii plates, present a registration, title (if held), and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in addition to other documents. The VIN will be looked at and verified on an appropriate form by employees at any satellite city hall. As an alternative, the VIN can be traced on a piece of paper; this will also serve as a means of verification. The form for doing so may also be obtained at any satellite City Hall office.

- To complete vehicle registration, you are required to have the following:
Proof of ownership or certificate of registration;
Shipping documents;
Hawaii no-fault insurance coverage;
Proof of completed safety inspection (vehicle owners whose cars have minor modifications, including mag wheels, must have a reconstruction permit from the Honolulu Police Department and display the reconstruction decal on the windshield before the car can be inspected). Hawaii requires twice a year safety inspections for vehicles 10 years old or older;
Valid identification card; and
Non-resident Certificate Form DFL50 (to be signed by your commanding officer verifying your home of record as reflected in your service record).

Once you have all these forms, you may obtain your registration by presenting the documents to:
The Division of Licenses, 1455 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, Hawaii (Phone 973-2700) Monday through Friday (7:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Any Satellite City Hall (Ala Moana Center, Downtown, Kailua, Kalihi/Kapalama, Kaneohe, Wahiawa, Waianae, Waipahu) Monday through Friday (7:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.)



Driver's licenses issued by your home state are generally valid in Hawaii until they expire; however, this is not true for all state, so you should double check. If you wish to apply for a Hawaii driver's license, you must present your Social Security card and current out-of-state license. If your out-of state license has expired, you will also be required to file an application form, complete a written examination, pass an eye test, and pass a road test. Your original license will not be returned.
The Hawaii license will cost $8.50 if you are between the ages of 25 and 64 and is valid for four years. If you are younger than 25, you license will cost $5.50 and is valid for two years. For individuals 65 or older, the license is $4.25 and is valid for two years.


To drive your vehicle on a military installation, you must obtain a military base decal by registering at the pass and identification office of the base to which you are assigned. When registering, you will need:
Military Identification card;
Registration of vehicle with the State of Hawaii or a state tax exemption certificate;
Valid driver's license, as appropriate for automobile, motorcycle or motor scooter;
Hawaii safety check receipt; and
Proof of Hawaii no-fault insurance.
When registering your motorcycle or motor scooter, you may have to show your helmet with the affixed decal certifying its adequacy.

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